Jenny Laura Marx (26 September 1845 – 25 November 1911), better known as Laura Marx, was the second daughter of Karl Marx and Jenny von Westphalen. In 1868, she married Paul Lafargue. The two committed suicide together in 1911.
Life and Death with Paul Lafargue
Laura was born in Brussels. Lafargue was a young French socialist who came to London in 1866 to work for the First International. There he became a friend of Karl Marx and got to know Marx's family, especially Laura, who fell in love with him.
Lafargue and Laura married in 1868, and they began several decades of political work together, translating Karl Marx's work into French, and spreading Marxism in France and Spain. During most of their lives, they were financially supported by Friedrich Engels. They also inherited much of Engels' estate when he died in 1895.
On 25 November 1911, the couple committed suicide together, having decided they had nothing left to give to the movement to which they had devoted their lives. Laura was 66 and Paul was 69. Lafargue left a suicide note saying:
Healthy in body and mind, I end my life before pitiless old age which has taken from me my pleasures and joys one after another; and which has been stripping me of my physical and mental powers, can paralyse my energy and break my will, making me a burden to myself and to others. For some years I had promised myself not to live beyond 70; and I fixed the exact year for my departure from life. I prepared the method for the execution of our resolution, it was a hypodermic of cyanide acid. I die with the supreme joy of knowing that at some future time, the cause to which I have been devoted for forty-five years will triumph. Long live Communism! Long Live the Second International.
Vladimir Lenin spoke at their funeral in Paris. Nadezhda Krupskaya said that Lenin told her: "If one cannot work for the Party any longer, one must be able to look truth in the face and die like the Lafargues."
|Ancestors of Laura Marx|
- Laura Lafargue / Eleanor Marx – Aveling:Briefe und Schriften von Karl Marx ... Oktober 1895. In: Die Neue Zeit, 1895, p. 121
- Karl Marx / Friedrich Engels:Manifeste du parti communiste. (Traduction de Laura Lafargue). V. Giard et E. Brière, Paris 1897
- Karl Marx (das ist Friedrich Engels):Révolution et contre-révolution en Allemagne. Trad. par Laura Lafargue. V. Giard et E. Brière, Paris 1900 (Bibliothèque socialiste internationale 6)
- Friedrich Engels:Religion, philosophie, socialisme. Trad. par Paul & Laura Lafargue. Jacques, Paris 1901 (Bibliothèque d'études socialistes 8)
- Karl Marx:Contribution à la critique de l'économie politique. Traduit sur la 2e édition allemande de Karl Kautsky par Laura Lafargue. V. Giard et E. Brière, Paris 1909 (Bibliothèque socialiste internationale 11)